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Kinzinger introduces legislation to improve veterans' access to health care

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Washington D.C., January 14, 2014 | comments
Congressman Adam Kinzinger announced new legislation that enhances veterans care through reduced travel times and better coordinated delivery of care.
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WASHINGTON – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) today announced new legislation that enhances veterans care through reduced travel times and better coordinated delivery of care. The bill, the Veteran-Centered Access to Coordinated Health Care Act of 2014, allows veterans to receive health care from a local non-VA health center if they choose, instead of having to drive long distances to the closest VA facility. In addition, the bill enhances VA coordination of care received outside of a VA facility to improve efficiency and ensure our veterans are getting the best care possible.

“The men and women who fought and sacrificed for our country deserve not only the best care we can provide them, but also ready access to that care,” said Kinzinger. “Right now, too many of our former soldiers – and many in the rural communities I represent -  don’t get the care they need because they live too far from the nearest VA facility. My bill will make it easier for veterans to see a doctor that’s close and convenient to them, and will enhance coordination at the VA to ensure they’re getting the best care out there. Making a trip to the doctor’s office a little easier is the least we can do for those who stood up to defend our country in its hour of need.”

The Veteran-Centered Access to Coordinated Health Care Act of 2014 reauthorizes a former pilot program at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that connects veterans to health facilities closer to the home. The program, Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home), would be extended to the entire country, ensuring that all veterans would have the opportunity to get care that’s closer and more convenient.

In addition, the bill mandates improved coordination by the VA to enhance efficiency in the delivery of care and ensure a patient is getting the best care possible. Often, a patient’s care does not end after an initial doctor’s visit, but may involve follow-up visits, prescription fillings, and recommended specialized care. The new legislation builds on coordination efforts ongoing at the VA and makes specific recommendations to optimize and streamline the coordination of care.

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